A Sustrans-developed programme to get people out of cars and to start using more sustainable methods of urban transport, and which was first trialled in Bristol, has been rolled out to five European cities, with 50 more expected to join in.
“Personalised travel planning” takes the form of promotions and one-on-one travel advice to show motorists that many of the journeys they think can only be done by car can, in fact, be easily done by bike, on foot or on public transport. Developed more than ten years ago by Sustrans, personalised travel planning can lead to an 11 percent reduction in car trips and increases in walking, cycling and public transport trips of between 15 and 33 percent. Sustrans found that many motorists don’t research travel alternatives but once they’re armed with information, many switch to the more sustainable forms of transport. Personalised travel planners do the legwork for motorists, pointing out bus stops and bus routes, bike route networks and walking short-cuts. Sustrans discovered that many motorists may have excellent bus services on their doorsteps, or direct cycle routes, but despite obvious proximity, motorists still didn’t know the services and routes existed.
Antwerp, which already has a cycle modal share of 25 percent, is one of the cities now working with PTP-Cycle – Personalised Travel Planning for Cycling – a project co-funded by the Intelligent Energy-Europe Programme granted by the Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI).
Steven Windey from Antwerp’s Department of Mobility, said:
“In the framework of the city’s “Masterplan 2020”, Antwerp wants to realise a modal split of 50/50 sustainable versus non sustainable transport modes by the year 2020. Hence the city is investing a lot in cycling infrastructure and parking facilities and infrastructure for public transport. At the same time, it’s very important to encourage citizens to use the new or improved infrastructure and facilities.”
PTP-Cycle is the first pan-European PTP Delivery Programme, and aims to transfer know-how to a larger audience of European cities. PTP-Cycle is targeting cities which already have a “high propensity to cycle” but where, nevertheless, cycle usage remains low. One of the methods used to get motorists out of their cars is the “cycle buddy” approach where a personalised travel planner will plan a cycle route for a motorist and then take the motorist on the ride to show how it’s nowhere near as daunting as the motorist might have feared. Personalised travel planning is expensive but effective.
PTP begins with personal contact, by telephone, on the doorstep, at work or via events, with the target population. This initial contact enables the target population to be ‘segmented’ into three main groups: existing regular users of sustainable travel modes; non-regular users who are interested in receiving information on alternatives to the car, and those who are not interested in taking part.
Participants in the interested group receive a PTP order form enabling them to choose from a range of local travel information materials and other services such as intensive one on one advice sessions, local bike maintenance sessions and led-rides.
Currently PTP-Cycle is working in Antwerp in Belgium; Riga in Latvia; Greenwich and Haringey in London; Burgos in Spain; and Ljubjana in Slovenia.